Bing Gains New Logo, UI, Page Zero Links, Snapshot & Pole Position Answers

New Bing logoThis evening, Microsoft announced and has started to roll out a range of new features for Bing — some cosmetic, some more structural. Prominent among them is a new logo and identity, which is symbolic of Bing’s deeper integration across the Microsoft’s products and devices.

The company has devoted a lengthy blog post to the new “One Microsoft” logo and its meaning.

Beyond this there are a range of updates to the Bing user experience. Moreover, the Bing experience will now vary by device.

Microsoft says that overall these changes are intended to deliver information more quickly and in more helpful or actionable ways. The company also says there are more to come as it builds out a “next-generation” search experience, making it “no longer just a search engine.”

New Snapshot: Combining Sidebar & Old Snapshot

Microsoft has wisely combined its Social Sidebar and Snapshot into a single, more prominent right column (akin to Google’s Knowledge Graph). Social content will now reside below the structured data on a subject.

Below are two “before and after” examples for the query “Miss America.” The first image is the current Bing results page, featuring a center (Snapshot) and right column (Sidebar). The second image is the new page for the same result.

Old Bing SERP

Bing Snapshot

The new page is simpler and Snapshot is wider (almost half the page width). It’s also shaded to differentiate it from the main results. And, as mentioned, social results have been integrated under the structured content, often below the fold.

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 2.03.52 AM

Page Zero: Deep Linking Pre-SERP

Another new feature is something Microsoft is calling “Page Zero.” These are deep links that provide shortcuts to common information objectives. It works on the homepage and from search results pages equally. The idea is to enable discovery of information quickly. (Google has a similar objective with rich snippets and deep linking.)

Bing Page Zero 1

Page Zero 2

Pole Position: High Confidence Answers

Pole Position is another new feature, essentially an answer that Bing will prominently display when it has confidence about user intent. I performed a range of queries but only found these new results in only a few cases.

Below are two Pole Position examples for weather and a celebrity name, Nina Davuluri (Miss America).

Pole Position

Pole Position

Here’s what Microsoft says about when Pole Position will be triggered:

We’re now introducing a new surface area at the top of the page called “Pole Position” for results where we have high confidence on a user’s intent. When we know that someone wants images of a celebrity, is looking for a specific fact or needs a detailed view of the weather in a particular city, we now provide a much larger answer beautifully integrated at the top of the page. These larger format answers help people find the best answer for their question.

Adapting To Multiple Devices, Screen Sizes

Bing is now better designed to operate across a range of devices. Results will display somewhat differently across those screens, from a 60-inch TV to a mobile device. In fact the colors and overall appearance can vary quite a bit, based on screenshots we saw.

Page elements will change based on what’s appropriate for the usage context:

 Our new layout is built from the ground up to work across devices and will adjust both to the size of the screen and the context of the user so we present the right experience at the right time. Results should look as beautiful on a Surface or iPad as they do on a PC or phone. Our new platform will enable us to improve experiences across an ever growing range of devices, like mobile . . . Part of this focus on mobile and tablet devices means integrating touch into our experiences and we’ve introduced a number of capabilities to allow for more rapid refinements in the future.

Bing Mobile experience

On an iPad, for example, Bing results pages will also be rendered in a more touch-friendly ways to better adapt to the tablet experience. Regardless of the specific screen, the updated design aims to be more visually attractive, simpler and more “human” across all devices.

Microsoft says that these changes and improvements are part of an evolution of Bing and its role within the larger family of Microsoft products. The changes may not be immediately available to people and will be rolling out over the next few days (although I’m not 100 percent certain of that time frame).

If there ever was a serious intention at Microsoft to sell Bing, it’s hard to believe now. That’s because Bing has become a key element of the overall Microsoft “services layer” and operating system.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Features: General | Microsoft | Microsoft: Bing | Top News

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About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • Yuan Taizong

    Despite the fact that Microsoft pushes Bing, there’s no link to Microsoft SkyDrive, Microsoft So.cl or Skype, and in the screenshots of the new Bing the portals to M.S.N. and Outlook.com seem to be ”hidden” again, Bing is extremely important for Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox but not so much for Microsoft’s many other services, well, we can see Bing doing more lately, Google has 16 features on their website, and Bing has 15 on their American website, despite the fact that Microsoft has dozens of extra services they could put on the above bar, this is free advertising, ¿why not use it?

  • Yuan Taizong

    Despite the fact that Microsoft pushes Bing, there’s no link to Microsoft SkyDrive, Microsoft So.cl or Skype, and in the screenshots of the new Bing the portals to M.S.N. and Outlook.com seem to be ”hidden” again, Bing is extremely important for Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox but not so much for Microsoft’s many other services, well, we can see Bing doing more lately, Google has 16 features on their website, and Bing has 15 on their American website, despite the fact that Microsoft has dozens of extra services they could put on the above bar, this is free advertising, ¿why not use it?

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com/ Nick Stamoulis

    It’ll be interesting to see how these changes are accepted by Bing’s users and if it will pull in a few more searchers who like the new design. I will have to play around with it and test some search queries to form my own opinion of it but it’s worth giving a shot to see what they come up with. At the end of the day I, and I would bet most users, care the most about the information being served up.

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com/ Nick Stamoulis

    It’ll be interesting to see how these changes are accepted by Bing’s users and if it will pull in a few more searchers who like the new design. I will have to play around with it and test some search queries to form my own opinion of it but it’s worth giving a shot to see what they come up with. At the end of the day I, and I would bet most users, care the most about the information being served up.

  • Vero Tabares

    Bing is a really nice search engine and it’s obvious that Microsoft has poured capital improving usability with some very nice features. I, for one, hope that Bing is able to gain traction outside of its “default” status amongst Microsoft devices and start chipping away at Google’s market share. This would make SEO a hell of a lot more interesting and accessible for people, if not more challenging.

  • Vero Tabares

    Bing is a really nice search engine and it’s obvious that Microsoft has poured capital improving usability with some very nice features. I, for one, hope that Bing is able to gain traction outside of its “default” status amongst Microsoft devices and start chipping away at Google’s market share. This would make SEO a hell of a lot more interesting and accessible for people, if not more challenging.

  • ArrowSmith

    Because of antitrust restrictions? Soc.l not ready for prime time….

  • Ronnie’s Mustache

    Looks like the Google Drive logo.

    I like bing…just wish they’d offer better Adcenter API access.

  • Illogicalthinker

    I like the new logo. The old one seemed aged, sort of like orange carpet.

  • Illogicalthinker

    I like the new logo. The old one seemed aged, sort of like orange carpet.

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